on October 11, 2009
After using a variety of budget trimmers over the years, I finally cracked open the wallet and purchased a REAL one. Before heading to the store, I checked out several commercial yard care trailers in my neighborhood to see what they were using. All used the Echo brand.
After a few weeks of use, it has far exceeded my expectations. What used to be an hour of frustrating work is now a 15 minute job with 200% better results.
Pro's include: heavy cutting string that is easy to re-load, fast starting, quiet running and the head stops turning when you let off the gas so you can safely walk around with it or even lay on the ground.
Con's - haven't discovered any yet.
on August 7, 2013
"Ask Any Pro" the box says when you buy any Echo product. Well I am a Pro and I would not buy any more Echo products. I have been doing lawns for thirty years now and for most of the past twenty years or so I have operated Echo products and got very good service out of them, that is until about two-three years ago.
For years Echo was sold with a gray motor casing. Then around three years ago I began to notice a change over to the current red casing. Whoops, the quality went down right after that the reason: the motor was no longer made by Kioritz Corp. and was now made by an outfit called Yamabiko. Big difference in quality!
Far less rated hours, far less performance, in short not worth a hoot! My machines must work every day and work well. Down time is not good. Machines that had lasted three or four seasons in the trying North Florida climate where you can almost hear the grass and weeds growing, were now not even making it through one summer without major repairs, and that money was in my opinion, wasted.
Echo products may be fine for a homeowner with a small yard, but in my opinion you would be better off paying a little more and purchasing a homeowner rated Stihl product. If you can find a gray motored Echo product with a Kioritz motor do so, you will get many years of service from your purchase, otherwise stop and buy something else.
on June 3, 2013
PLEASE NOTE: This review is for the big-box store version SRM-230.
I recently gave up trying to get my Homelite trimmer to work (properly, or at all usually) and my Black & Decker electric trimmer is a pain to use and the replacement spools are way too expensive, so I decided to try this trimmer out based on the other reviews at my local big-box store's website.
In a word ... WOW.
This thing is a beast. It is amazing. It is so far and above better quality than the Homelite piece of junk I had, and totally out-performs the Black & Decker, I simply cannot believe I had never tried a good piece of equipment like this.
My story, as brief as I can be:
I removed the packaging, read the directions (I know, crazy right?) and filled it with 2-cycle gas. I pressed the primer bulb several times, until the bulb filled up and fuel was returning to the tank. I put the choke on (70 degrees outside, meh) and yanked a few times. No luck. I turned off the choke and it fired up after about 3 pulls and idled nicely. I let it warm up for about a minute and then jammed it into some thick weeds and ivy that are a perennial problem on my fence and ... and ... and WOW it just tore right through the ivy like it was nothing. I mean, it absolutely DESTROYED it.
My old Homelite would choke and die on this ivy (and many smaller tasks). I ran this Echo through everything I could find at the edge of my yard and it just doesn't care, it rips right through it. It is an amazing machine. Over the course of a week I have managed to completely remove all the weeds, thick ivy and it's branch-like roots, small bushes, tall grass, and anything else that needed to be removed. I now have a nice 1' wide swath of dead-zone around my yard which had previously been taken over by invasive plants.
I also managed to take back a corner of my yard which had been completely taken over by various ivy and creeping vine-like plants, along with other tall plants and weeds. It's now trimmed down to the ground! This is the first time since I bought my house nearly five years ago that I've been able to get back there.
Over the course of two weeks I've used this trimmer and it starts up on the first or second pull every time I remember to put the on/off switch into the "run" position. :)
Ok, bottom line:
+ Starts quickly and easily.
+ Too powerful for mortal beings.
+ "Bump" to feed more line works immediately and every time.
+ *Incredibly* easy to re-string (I've never seen a trimmer that is so easy to re-string - you don't have to remove the head - just spin the empty head until the holes in the middle spool line up, stick the new line through, center it, and wind it in!).
+ Could probably cut down a tree, but easily goes through bushes and branches of all sorts.
- A little expensive, but seeing as how I had to throw away my last two bargain trimmers it will probably be more cost effective in the long run.
- A little on the heavy side. After about 20 minutes you'll want to take a break. However, you'll probably be halfway done with your yard, instead of only 1/10th, so this really isn't a big issue.
- The manual references a strap, which does not seem to be included, so I ordered one and am waiting for it to arrive since the big-box stores take weeks to get things shipped. :(
- The protective cover over the string is very small, and as a result you will get hit with rocks and sticks a lot if you don't take care to tilt the trimmer with the right side down to the ground, flinging stuff *away* from you.
As a closing note, I would suggest you purchase a wear safety goggles that are fully "enclosed" - similar to a scuba mask - which has complete coverage between the frame and your cheeks/eyes, instead of standard "glasses". This monster throws a ton of debris, and even with my full-coverage goggles I still got a few rocks and such inside the goggles. I also got hit in the face by a 2" long stick which cut me pretty good. This is a powerful machine, treat it with respect!
on May 1, 2013
My favorite weed whacker when I was mowing lawns for cash as a kid was an old Snapper with a small, powerful 4 stroke engine. It started when you pulled the cord; no futzing with priming or choke starts. It would also cut reliably through tall, thick grass without stalling. It could overheat on a hot day, though. And it was heavy. I wish I'd had an Echo trimmer back then!
After recently buying a house and needing a new weed eater for the first time in a couple of decades, I first bought a cheap 2 cycle Murray that ended up sucking... badly. An endless cycle of stalling and starting left me tired and frustrated after the first use. The trimmer was also too short for my comfort (I'm 6'0" tall). I was shopping for a replacement the next weekend.
I ended up buying an Echo SRM 225 from Home Depot. The first things I noticed were how balanced the trimmer was and how it was the right length for me (no stooping over!) As I was carrying it from the rack to the checkout counter I was stopped twice and complimented on my selection by other customers. One guy was a pro landscaper who had one of these himself and had only good things to say about it. I left feeling good about my purchase.
This trimmer has a 2 stroke engine that starts quickly and delivers smooth, reliable power throughout the throttle range. 1 or 2 pulls and the engine doesn't quit until you hit the stop switch. Echo has engineered vibration dampening into all the touch points. The front grip is the most comfortable on any weed eater I've held and cuts out almost all vibration going to your hands and wrists. The engine has some kind of vibration dampening coupling that makes the rear grip almost as comfortable as the front. And this thing is fuel efficient. I filled the tank, used the trimmer hard for over an hour and barely used an 1/8 a tank of gas. The line feeder is also pretty awesome. It is the first one I've used that actually feeds line reliably when you use the bump feeder. It's also very easy to refill with trimmer line. All of this, and it comes with a 5 year manufacturer's warranty (for home use, 1 year for professional/commercial use).
I'm always a bit sad when there's no more trimming left to do, now.
on August 24, 2011
Here is a list of things that I like about this trimmer:
1) Easy to start, smooth and always on one or two pulls. 2) The straight shaft is very easy to maneuver around trees or the edge of a lawn.3) Powerful- even with the thinner gauge line (forget about the electric trimmers- been there). 4) Reliable! (I've waste money on lower cost trimmers that worked at first and soon turned to crap). 5) Quality- a professional level tool that works well and will last. 6) Easy maintenance-Spark plug and filters are purchased at the big box store or, here on Amazon.
Overall, I would recommend this trimmer for anyone who wants a quality power tool.
on May 9, 2013
***I only mow/trim my yard, I am not a commercial lawn service***I had a John Deer trimmer that I used for 5 years with never a problem. One day it just died and I bought a Bolen; worked about one season. Got a Poulan; nothing but trouble. Broke down one Friday night and went to the local H-D (needed to do my own lawn work) and bought this trimmer. Cranks right up and runs great! Even after the winter lay-up cranked right up with no problems. You need to remember with any of the small engines that ethanol is not your friend! Be sure to put Lucas Ethanol Safeguard treatment in the fuel; it prevents the ethanol from eating up the o-rings in the carb. All in all, this is an excellent trimmer! (I also bought the Echo trimmer head that allows you to cut string and insert into head instead of the bump head; I recommend this as well)
on August 25, 2013
I did a lot of research after having a few $100 cheap lowes models die on me. To get them repaired costs almost as much as a new trimmer so i decided to review my options. The best models under $250 i found were the Echo 21.2cc, Husqvarna 223L 24.5cc, and the Hitachi CG22EASSLP 21.1cc. All three had a great reviews and were around the same price.
I went with the Echo because my local lawn repair shop had it priced at $200 and they were an authorized Echo warranty repair location. Although all these models are excellent, i would make sure you have an authorized repair shop near you. Lawn equipment gets abused over time and engines that get dirty, need repair.
Echo is known in the industry as a high-end brand, but my main concern was the engine size. I was told it runs at a higher RPM to give it the extra juice. It comes with a 5 year warranty, compared to Hitachi 7 year, Husqvarna 2 year.
If you have a few acres of tough weeds or have a commercial lawn company, you might want to consider the Husq's bigger engine over these two models (also because your Echo commercial warranty drops to 2 years.) I don't have anything negative to say about the Hitachi, i just didn't buy it.
The first time i used the Echo it started immediately and ran so smooth. The weight was balanced nicely and it ran through thick weeds with ease. It's almost fun to use. The speed loader head was simple and worked really well. After a few more uses, it still runs the same. Very happy with the purchase.
on March 15, 2014
I used it about 10 times with the bump head that comes with it and got tired of jams. I had a Rapid Loader on my old Homelite for years and loved it so I bought one for this trimmer. Not only does it eliminate jams, but since the head doesn't have the bump mechanism, it gets closer to the ground for a cleaner, easier trim. I don't know why it doesn't come with the Rapid Loader. The cheaper Echo's do. I would have given it 5 stars if it did.
on June 3, 2015
A machine that starts very easily, cuts weeds like no other machine I have ever owned, is well balanced, not too much vibration, and the line is easy to replace. Perfect, right? Not quite. The shield over the trimmer head is way too narrow and you will get plastered with grass and stones as you use the 225. Please wear the safety glasses the Echo provides and follow their instructions to wear a long sleeve shirt, gloves, boots, and long pants. Add a helmet too. A medieval suit of armor would be better. When it comes time to replace this machine, if Echo has not made the shield wider, I will buy a Stihl. They have a wider shield on them.
on December 19, 2014
Here's my opinion on the echo SRM 225 trimmer
Easier to start than my SRM 266T or Pas 266 SRM 210. it is a very light commercial line trimmer not really recommended for heavy commercial use because they will require more time due to less power and torque. It's like an old man saying I can do anything a of 21 man can do except not as fast.
SRM 225 is perfect for a homeowner with a smaller gas tank opposed to a larger one that the gas will go bad.
This trimmer has all the features of the larger one except for the speed feed is smaller 400 opposed to the larger 450.
Does not have enough power in my opinion to drive a brush cutter or larger line diameter
Speedfeed in my opinion is the best system offered anywhere and a upgrade for older models and other brands.
If you want to keep from writing a single star review you best pay close attention this is not for a full blown landscaper trimmers for heavy duty use but these are still commercial tools that require being used due to gas quality or lack of. Government requires 10% ethanol used in pump gas that's not for the environment, that because most representatives own farm land and get free farm dollars and the ones that don't farm get money from the farm growers .
Ethanol goes bad very quickly and causes great harm to small engines it becomes extremely corrosive to plastic rubber and metal parts. it separates from the gas and settles ate the bottom gumming up carbs filters fuel lines.
Keep fuel fresh add ethanol shield to your mix and that will increase both the life of your trimmer and your fuel. I use premix Husqvarna echo VP or Truefuel and sometimes I buy VP by the gallon locally.
For me edging is what separates the men from the boys and the SRM does just that compared to other trimmers in the same category and price, red Max maybe is a better trimmer but at a greater cost and aimed more towards commercial use. Red max TR2350S requires more of an effort starting but does not bog down like the 225 does under extreme conditions.
I highly recommend it echo was one of the first to go to 50:1 so they know what they are doing.
Fresh gas no more than 14-30 days or premixed can fuel is highly recommended for the average.
One small addition to my review over the weekend I went to Home depot and discovered firsthand what the issue was with all the complaints. Most if not all of the repairs are consumer related flat out neglect on the part of the customer. I was shown 3 trimmers and countless complaints that were 100% the customers fault two had fuel so nasty it clogged the carburetor and would not pass the other was straight pump fuel no trace of mix. They perform a fuel test on the quality and the clearer the test the higher the fuel quality the darker the test the poorer the quality the test strips where blood red.
All customers blamed everybody but themselves. They all claimed they use fresh fuel they claimed the has just mixed. one trimmer the primer bulb exploded after 3-5 pumps. They blamed echo home depot and Obama care (just kidding on Obama care) I was told they all acted like babies. I'm not saying any warranties were honored they were there for echo to decide what to do next.
No joke today's fuels are extremely unstable for small engines. I have preached it on other reviews and I have witnessed it personally. all those poor reviews that state failure and it's echo or home depot fault you might ignore. They actually test the fuel it's one thing to say it must be poor fuel based on smell but they know 100% it's poor fuel and the customers fault based on actual testing . One test I saw was doctor in a bottle ethanol test they had other stuff. I'm adding this to all my echo and fuel reviews